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The Day I Killed A Man

Comments on The Day I Killed A Man

Rudi
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Rudi
Posted 09/19/06 - 3:08 PM:
Subject: The Day I Killed A Man
The day I killed a man was like any other day. I woke up, showered, got dressed, had my cup of coffee and then made my way to the train station. I boarded the 6:50 to Union Station. There were no seats, as usual, so I stood.

The day I killed a man was like any other day. I read the paper. The news was bad. War in Iraq. Local politicians mudslinging. More gun violence in the streets. My train raced downtown. I went over the day's schedule in my head.

The train suddenly braked. The train whistle screamed. Passengers jerked and gripped. It happen quickly. It happened silently. It happened matter of factly. We stopped. We waited. A voice faltered, then trembled and said we had hit someone.

No one screamed. No one panicked. No one gasped. No one flinched. Cell phones emerged. Appointments cancelled. Meetings delayed. Nothing to do but wait. A man finished his coffee. A woman took a last bite from her muffin. A girl put her headsets on.

Police arrived. Ambulance arrived. Fire fighters arrived. The tracks were cleaned. Notes were taken. The train resumed its course. All within 70 minutes. Cell phones emerged. Appointments were re-made. Meetings were re-scheduled.

We pulled into the station in our machine of death. No one would have known from looking at its shinny head. People steped out and disappeared into the city.

Can tragedy be so boring. Can death be so mundane. Perhaps it always is. Perhaps it always was.

I cannot help but feel like we just killed someone. We, in our machine, snuffed out a life --someone who meant something to someone else. We did it while reading our newspapers, drinking our coffees and thinking of work. It was so easy. It was so very easy.

The day I killed a man was just like any other day... except that I realised how little a life can mean.

-------------------------

This morning (September 19, 2006) at the Strachan train crossing in downtown Toronto my train hit a pedestrian, killing him or her instantly.


libertygrl
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Posted 09/19/06 - 9:50 PM:

:embarrassed:
IammyaspectofUs
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Posted 09/20/06 - 7:54 PM:

I'm sorry Rudi
libertygrl
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Posted 09/22/06 - 10:19 AM:

hi CAC

i can't answer for rudi's intentions, of course, but the subtext i get from this piece is that the narrator (rudi, presumably) is surrounded by people who fail to react to the gravity of the ending of someone's life, almost as if they are just flat out ignoring it, such that he then feels overwhelmed by the imbalance of emotion and the displacement of responsibility in the situation. that displacement of responsibility moves him to act as a voice for the agent of the person's death.

my initial response was similar to yours, CAC, thinking, "it's not like *you* killed the person". but then, i felt that the piece was saying back to me, "we all did. i'm just the only one who is acknowledging it." to me, it is an overall commentary on society's general desensitization to the ending of human life in whatever form it takes. of course, it does also displace responsbility in the sense that it seems to ignore that perhaps the pedestrian died out of carelessness or even out of some suicidal impulse. nonetheless, to me, the point is that the event offered an opportunity to express lamentation over a much greater tragedy.

lib
Rudi
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Rudi
Posted 09/22/06 - 11:58 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
hi CAC

i can't answer for rudi's intentions, of course, but the subtext i get from this piece is that the narrator (rudi, presumably) is surrounded by people who fail to react to the gravity of the ending of someone's life, almost as if they are just flat out ignoring it, such that he then feels overwhelmed by the imbalance of emotion and the displacement of responsibility in the situation. that displacement of responsibility moves him to act as a voice for the agent of the person's death.

my initial response was similar to yours, CAC, thinking, "it's not like *you* killed the person". but then, i felt that the piece was saying back to me, "we all did. i'm just the only one who is acknowledging it." to me, it is an overall commentary on society's general desensitization to the ending of human life in whatever form it takes. of course, it does also displace responsbility in the sense that it seems to ignore that perhaps the pedestrian died out of carelessness or even out of some suicidal impulse. nonetheless, to me, the point is that the event offered an opportunity to express lamentation over a much greater tragedy.

lib



You're 100% right on Lib... hug

It's not the benefits of public transportation that I am questioning.

And I'm not saying that I physically killed the man (or woman --to this day I don't know).

It was a about the desinsitisation and (as you very eloquently point out) the emotional imbalance it created in me and the displacement of responsibility in the situation.

Even though I am not suggesting that we all should have began wailing, I was surpised (and perhaps even a little bit horrified) at how matter of factly such a tragedy could be.

Thank you for your very lucid interpretation Lib... I really appreciated it...

heart

Rudi


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